Gig Reviews

NWOBHM weekend with Demon, Tytan and Paul Gaskin

Japanese metalheads got to experience a weekend of NWOBHM love when three veteran British acts came to perform in Japan for the first time.

Demon, Tytan and The Paul Gaskin Project at Holiday Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan on 15th and 16th June 2024

Demon, Tytan and Paul Gaskin are three acts from the early 1980s New Wave of British Heavy Metal who, until now, had never performed in Japan. It was obvious that many of the audience members had waited a long time for this. Many people wore classic denim battle vests and band tees from the NWOBHM era.

Musically, the original NWOBHM was rather broad, ranging from melodic rock to heavy metal. That was evident on these two evenings in Tokyo when we could hear several sides of the NWOBHM scene.

The Paul Gaskin Project

Paul Gaskin from the band Gaskin made the trip to Japan on his own and performed the two shows backed up by a trio of local musicians, including the mighty Jero of Abigail. Both nights, Paul Gaskin performed a short six-song set consisting of Gaskin songs from the early 80s – “Burning Alive”, “Ready for Love”, “Sweet Dream Maker”, “End of the World”, “No Way Out” and “I’m No Fool”. It was a fab way to get these NWOBHM nights off to a good start.


Tytan was originally active in the early 1980s. They got off to a great start but the band called it quits even before the release of the debut album “Rough Justice”. Since they reformed in 2012, they have released a new album, “Justice Served” and toured in Europe. Over the years, members have come and gone, with band founder and bassist Kevin Riddles being the only constant member. The current version of the band is rock solid and features Kevin, vocalist Tony Coldham (The Deep, ex-Deep Machine), Andrew Thompson on keyboards, Garry Bowler (The Deep) on drums and Ian Nash (ex-Steve Grimmett’s Grim Reaper) on guitar.

The band’s music has always been fairly melodic. Live they sound a tad heavier than on the studio recordings. The catchiness of Tytan’s songs certainly got the Japanese audience going on both nights. The set was unsurprisingly dominated by songs from “Rough Justice”, the band’s classic debut album. Kevin and his men performed excellent versions of “Money for Love”, “Forever Gone”, “Rude Awakening”, “Far Side of Destiny”, “Women on the Frontline”, “The Watcher”, “Blind Men & Fools” and “Ballad of Edward Case”. They also served up a few great tunes from their second album: “Fight the Fight”, “Love You to Death” and “The Cradle”. The newer songs are as good as the ones from the debut album.

To the delight of the fans, on the track “Cold Bitch”, Tytan’s original drummer Dave Dufort rejoined the band on stage. Seeing bassist Kevin Riddles and Dave Dufort, who were the feared rhythm section of first Angel Witch and then Tytan in the early 80s, playing together again was a real treat. Although his guest spot with Tytan was only one song each night, Dufort enjoyed himself on stage.


Demon was formed in 1979 and its debut album “Night of the Demon” was released in 1981. Over the years, Demon’s sound has varied and wandered back and forth between heavy metal, progressive rock and melodic hard rock. Original frontman Dave Hill is supported by a terrific line-up of musicians in the current version of the band. Notably, the line-up includes former Saxon bassist Paul “Fasker” Johnson. The band also features guitarists Paul Hume and David Cotterill, Karl Waye on keyboards and Neil Ogden on drums.

The two sets performed by Demon in Tokyo were dominated by classic songs from the albums “Night of the Demon” (1981), “The Unexpected Guest” (1982), “The Plague” (1983) and “Breakout” (1987). They opened with the band’s anthem “Night of the Demon” and delivered everything a Demon fan could want. It included fan favourites such as “Sign of a Madman”, “The Plague”, “Nowhere to Run”, “Remembrance Day (A Song for Peace)”, “The Spell”, “Liar” and “Don’t Break the Circle”. A highlight included the terrific “Face the Master” from the new album “Invincible”. Demon finished with “One Helluva Night”. This band still has plenty of gas in the tank.

Both nights in Shinjuku were excellent. At the end of each night, most fans stuck around long after the performances to get autographs and take pictures with the bands. The merch stand had a busy night and many punters also brought old LPs to get signed.

A big thank you to promoter Rubicon Music for bringing Japan’s NWOBHM maniacs together for a splendid heavy metal weekend in Tokyo.